Local indie-folk group Postcards is a relatively new face to the scene, having been around for roughly a year. Nonetheless, they’ve managed to make a name for themselves, earning the admiration of the public on the live music circuit. It has been nearly one month since the release of the band’s debut EP Lakehouse. Let’s take a listen and get folked up.

(Photo via Facebook)

This 5-track EP is a fairly immersive experience: it constructs its own little world around the listener, a world of mountains, trees, lakes, seas, and passionate lovers frolicking in nature’s playground. Lakehouse sees the speaker fantasizing about the titular lakehouse and the time they’d spend with their lover in it. The Man with No Name paints a picture of a wandering vagabond, while Summertime and Sleepless Nights are sort of in the same line as Lakehouse.

The true standout for me was Oh the Places We Will Go, which happens to be the band’s first official single, released before the rest of the EP, and for good reason. In the song, the speaker invites someone who is disillusioned with the city, that city being Beirut, and the life it offers, to join them in travels to faraway places. But no! This isn’t a song about emigration and passports, for the “travels” in question are metaphorical ones. It is in fact about how someone’s love can make the worst of places worth staying in, how two people can “travel” to their own special version of a place that exists only when they are in the company of one another. The concept is nicely illustrated in this lyric which goes: “Come sit by me and enjoy the sea/no matter how polluted it may be/it’s such a beautiful sight to see."

Indie-folk is a genre with quite a distinguishable sound, a sound which the band capably delivers: down-to-earth, gentle, yet packed with energy and rustic because this is some 'weekend roadtrip to the woods' listening right here. The songs are mainly driven by acoustic guitar, seasoned with other reliable folky sounds, such as cello (Lakehouse), harmonica (Summertime) and banjo (Oh the Places We Will Go). The drumming doesn’t really strive toward pounding out beats, but instead plays a more subtle and percussive role.

(Photo via Facebook)

On a local scale, it’s a pretty remarkable and noteworthy sound, but on a global scale, that’s a whole other story. The band themselves occasionally cover artists such as Beirut, Mumford and Sons, and Fleet Foxes; that is essentially a list of similar-sounding yet more superior alternatives as far as foreign listeners are concerned. If indie-folk were an outdated genre that the band is on a crusade to resurrect, they’d have an edge on them, but to tell you the truth, the genre is quite ubiquitous and, well, verging on mainstream.

The indie-folk formula they work with is one that has long been perfected by others; what this formula needs is a new ingredient. Given the nature of the genre, it would not be too far-fetched if they were to incorporate some traditional folk instruments from, oh let's say, Lebanon. I'm not calling for the sound to take on an Oriental-fusion identity, not at all. Take Lloyd Miller's oud-driven jazz piece Oud Blues as a model for this proposition. It's not the instrument that defines the genre, but how you intend to play it. Think about it.

Stream the Lakehouse EP on Soundcloud or buy it on iTunes, and keep up with the band's activities on Facebook.

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